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Nationwide terror network unravels

The Delhi Police says terrorists of Indian Mujahideen and SIMI in league with Pak-based LeT executed four serial blasts in the last 10 months across India, report Abhishek Sharan and Vijaita Singh. Home-grown terror

india Updated: Sep 21, 2008 01:23 IST

It was a deadly three-way alliance among the now dead Atif aka Basheer (24) of the Indian Mujahideen, the pro-jihad faction of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) led by techie Abdus Subhan Qureshi (36) aka Tauqeer, and handlers of the Pakistani Lashkar e Tayyeba (LeT), that executed four serial blasts in the last 10 months across the country.

<b1>Delhi police’s Special Cell’s Joint Commissioner of police told a packed media conference on Saturday afternoon that “LeT acted as the mediator between the two groups, the funding was channelled through SIMI”. The LeT “devised a strategy to use more and more Indian outfits three-four years ago after they realised that their direct involvement, or of the HuJI, was giving Pakistan a bad name”, said Singh.

He added that “Atif alias Basheer, who was shot dead in the encounter with our team on Friday, was the head of the Indian Mujahideen —- he was the one who decided the place and timing of serial blasts —- and had plotted and executed not only the Saturday blasts in Delhi, but also blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26, in Jaipur on May 13, and in UP on November 23, last year. He did this with the help of SIMI’s modules of Subhan Qureshi, who took care of the funding and organisational support, and the Lashkar e Tayyeba who last year had directed Subhan to get in touch with Atif to carry out blasts”.

Singh said that it was the “vital disclosures made since Friday by Mohammed Saif and Zeeshan Ahmed”, the two aides of Atif arrested on Friday, which led to the solving of the case. “We have identified 13 members of the Atif’s IM module who were involved in the blasts in Delhi, Jaipur, UP, and Ahmedabad. Among them, while two (Sajid and Atif) are dead, nine others are absconding and we are looking for them,” said Singh.

Elaborating upon the perpetrators of the Delhi blasts, Singh said, “Atif and Junaid (absconding) had planted bombs in Greater Kailash-I (M block market), Sajid (dead) and Zeeshan Sheikh at Barakhambha Road, Shehzad Bhai aka Malik at Children’s Park, Saif and Khalid (absconding) outside Regal movie theatre, Shakeel at Ghaffar market, and Sajid (absconding) at Central Park (Connaught place). Atif had recced and selected the spots, and procured the explosives material from Karnataka.”

“Zeeshan’s facial profile matches exactly with the sketch we have on the Barakhamba bomb-planters” said Singh.

Forensic examination of Atif’s laptop, said Singh, has revealed that he was “inspired by Al-Qaeda’s ideology on jihad and also by two Indians, Shah Ismail and Sayyed Ahmed, who had led a jihadi rebellion in the 18th Century.”

Atif’s laptop, according to Singh, had a picture of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda literature, a photograph of Subhan Qureshi, and references to a book written by Ismail and Ahmed that ‘inspired’ him.

“Atif chose the name Indian Mujahideen for his group after reading this book”, said Singh.

Atif, said Singh, chose the other 12 members of his module, "and they all belong to Azamgarh. The 12 others were either his classmates, or a year or two junior or senior to him". He also said that from Atif’s laptop the police have recovered logo-making software and an unfinished logo that matches that of the IM.

“There is also an incomplete draft of an email that we think could have formed part of the terror mails sent by the IM before their blasts” said Singh.

The police also believe that this IM module was also involved in the Bangalore blasts on July 25, and the planting of bombs in Surat.